Easy ways to reduce stress and overwhelm

Sometimes there’s just too much going on, none of it is going right, and it leaves us feeling frazzled and frustrated.

Between work stuff, family stuff, home stuff, and social stuff, there’s a lot that can pile onto our shoulders and as the mum, we’re the ones expected to not only keep it all running smoothly but do it calmly and without complaining (ha!).

When we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, we usually try to reduce the workload by writing a big to-do list, or delegating some jobs to your partner and kids, but honestly, that rarely helps much. We end up having to micromanage everyone else to make sure the jobs get done (and properly - or we’ll be re-doing them ourselves later), or we finish writing the to-do list and feel even more overwhelmed looking at it.

Let’s try a different approach and come at it from an angle of wanting to feel better, not needing to get everything done.

There will always be more to do, so let’s prioritise taking care of ourselves first. Everyone else will take their cue from our lead, so the more happy and relaxed we are, the more happy and relaxed everyone else will be too.

Here are my favourite ways to reduce stress and overwhelm in my day to day life:

Slow down and do less.

Whatever you are doing, do it slower. You’ll feel better almost instantly. Driving, cooking, cleaning, working, hanging, folding, ironing (do we do that anymore?), walking.

Brain dump everything on your mind and then cross out the stuff that is not “world ending” if it doesn’t happen. Then just put the 3 most important things left onto your To Do list and don’t come back to the brain dump until those 3 are done AND you’ve had time to relax afterward.

Remind yourself that your goal for today doesn’t have to be to get as much done as possible. Especially if you’re not getting paid for it, and if no one else will notice you did it.

Pay attention to how you feel.

Go outside for a walk, or even just sit for a few minutes. Lay down and look at the clouds like you did when you were a kid. It’s just as lovely and relaxing now as it was then.

Take a nap. You’ll feel like your whole day has reset and you have a clean slate again.

Eat or drink something. You might have been rushed or distracted and missed a meal. You’ll feel better when you’re not hungry or thirsty.

Write a list of things that make you feel good. Choose one and do it whenever you want to feel happier or less stressed.

Listen to a guided meditation. There are plenty of great ones on YouTube, and I also love the 10-minute ones here at The Mindfulness Clinic.

Take a warm shower. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. A warm shower will help you relax and give you a break from whatever’s making you feel overwhelmed.

Lower the bar for yourself.

Serve simple food. A plate of crackers with sliced cheese, tomato, cucumber, a few olives or nuts, is fine. A couple of simple sandwiches is fine. Vegetable soup and bread is fine. Cheese on toast is fine. A ham and salad wrap is fine. Don’t cook if it stresses you out. Assemble your meals instead.

If you do enjoy cooking but you’re too tired to do it at the end of the day, cook earlier. Use your slow cooker, or if you’re at home during the day, cook in the morning or early afternoon (or whenever you feel like it) and reheat later for dinner.

Turn off the notifications on your email, texts, and social media DMs. You don’t need to be on call 24/7 (you’re certainly not getting paid to be!). Check emails and messages a couple of times a day. If anything is really urgent, they’ll call.

Allow for 15 - 30 minutes buffer time for anything you are doing outside of the home. You need time to get yourself, your kids and your stuff into the car, you want to drive without rushing and have plenty of time to find a car park and walk from the car park to your destination. Buffer time makes the whole process feel so much calmer.

Set alarms or Google Home reminders for the things you hate “nagging” people to do but don’t get done without the reminder. You can tell Google to let the kids know when it’s time to put their devices away and have their evening shower. You can set an alarm for 5 minutes before your kids need to leave for school. The tech can “nag” for you, and you can focus on you.

I hope you found some of these ideas helpful, let me know if you try any of them!

x Marissa


P.S. Want a hand making dinner times easier? Join me for our March workshop: "Simple Meal Planning: Easy ways to simplify your dinners"

I'll be sharing 3 easy ways to meal plan so that dinner times feel a little easier - you can pick the one that suits you and your family the best!

Plus, you'll get a free copy of my two most popular meal planning resources, and there will be time for Q&A too.

If you can’t make it live, don’t worry - I’ll record the workshop so you can watch it anytime. 

Get your ticket here: https://fb.me/e/oyP1Tnrft